Peoria Wrongful Death Attorneys
The death of a loved one is never easy to cope with in the weeks and years that follow. Not only do you have to deal with the emotional toll, but also financial losses that come from losing a family member.
However, in many cases, when someone passes away due to another person's negligence or intentional actions, their surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Illinois civil court.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury lawyers specialize in helping families who have lost loved ones due to another party's negligence or wrongdoing obtain fair compensation under Illinois law.
Our experienced lawyers will help you navigate this difficult time by providing compassionate counsel while aggressively pursuing justice on your behalf so that you can focus on grieving without having to worry about finances as well.
Call a Peoria personal injury lawyer at (888) 424-5757, or use the contact form for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation.
What is Wrongful Death?
According to Illinois law, wrongful death is a legal term meaning that the deceased person would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party is still alive.
Surviving family members can file this type of legal claim on behalf of their loved one and it is brought forth in civil court instead of criminal court.
This legal remedy means that, unlike murder or manslaughter charges, no criminal conviction is necessary for wrongful death damages to be awarded.
Although it is not a criminal charge, wrongful death claims are handled in civil court, where the burden of proof required for a guilty verdict is much lower than in criminal cases. In civil cases, a judge or jury only needs to find that a preponderance of evidence suggests wrongdoing before a defendant can be found liable and ordered to pay monetary damages.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the deceased person's family members sue as the plaintiff on their loved one's behalf and seek damages for their financial losses as well as any other reason that the deceased party's death may have impacted.
Some examples of these losses include medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of future income, and loss of companionship.
Furthermore, Illinois law states that the death must have been caused by negligence or an intentional wrongful act (meaning a person should reasonably know their behavior will result in another person's injury) to be eligible for a wrongful death claim.
For example, personal injuries sustained due to drunk driving or other dangerous activities such as dangerous construction work are grounds for filing a wrongful death claim.
When Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Illinois?
Illinois law requires that you file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years after learning of your loved one's passing or the date when you should have reasonably learned of their passing due to circumstances surrounding their death.
It means it is important to keep all records related to your loved one's passing, including death certificates or autopsy reports.
If you are unsure if the circumstances surrounding your loved one's death are grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit, contact an experienced wrongful death attorney for guidance.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Illinois?
The deceased person's family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Illinois. A spouse, children, and parents may all be eligible to file a wrongful death claim if their loved one was killed due to another party's negligence or wrongdoing.
Furthermore, only certain family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased person, depending on the laws in the state where they resided at the time of their passing.
For example, a spouse can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of their deceased spouse if both were residents of Illinois when that spouse died. However, this is not the case if only one party was an Illinois resident and passed away while living in another state.
The Amount of Damages Determined in a Wrongful Death Claim
The number of damages that can be sought in a wrongful death claim depends on the facts surrounding the case. Courts have wide discretion to decide what constitutes fair compensation for loss caused by someone else's wrongful actions. Courts typically look at similar personal injury cases involving deaths due to negligence or wrongdoing to gauge what a fair award might be.
In most central Illinois wrongful death lawsuits, the amount of damages paid by the defendant is meant to compensate the plaintiff for their financial losses and any other reason that the deceased party's death may have impacted. Some examples include medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of future income, and loss of companionship.
To successfully file a wrongful death lawsuit, you will need to provide evidence of all damages suffered by your loved one's passing and how it has impacted your life.
The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only. The content herein does not constitute legal advice or opinion and should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.
Your use of this information is voluntary and strictly at your own risk. Hiring a Peoria wrongful death lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements or self-proclaimed expertise.
The Peoria wrongful death attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC specialize in helping the families of those killed in accidents secure the compensation they need to cover the cost of burying their loved ones while also replacing the financial contributions and companionship those loved ones provided while alive.
Whenever a preventable accident results from a company or individual's negligent actions, it is possible to bring a lawsuit against the responsible party on behalf of those who depend upon the deceased.
Our goal is to make certain that the amount of damages recovered for each client is fair and sufficient to cover their financial needs well into the future so that they can focus on moving forward with their lives.
Wrongful Death is Among the Top Five Causes of Death in the United States
Among all age groups, accidental death is cited among the top five causes of death, according to the National Safety Council.
For those under the age of 43, it is the leading cause of premature death, with car accidents and workplace deaths leading the fold.
Other forms of wrongful death involve explosions, fires, drowning, medical negligence, prescription errors, choking, and the inhalation or consumption of toxic materials.
Suppose it can be proven that a person's death was likely due to neglect or negligence on behalf of another individual, an employer, or a product manufacturer. In that case, the victim's family may be able to recover much-needed compensation through a wrongful death claim.
Since many situations may lead to death through negligence, it is important to determine who is at fault for a loved one's death and whether multiple parties may carry liability.
Forms of Peoria Wrongful Death Claims
You have a right to answers following the death of a loved one, and the only sure way to know whether negligence was at play is to investigate.
Following are a few examples of accidents that have occurred due to the recklessness of others and for which we have been able to secure compensation on behalf of the accident victims' families:
- Motorcycle accidents: Whether due to the actions of another motorist or the motorcyclist. For example, claims have been made after the motorcycle operator killed a passenger and followed a collision with a car or truck.
- Car accident: These accidents are one of the leading causes of death for children and working adults. They are often due to driver distraction, reckless driving, and the vehicle's operation while tired or under the influence of controlled substances.
- Trucking accident: Heavy commercial trucks can cause severe damage, especially if the truck driver was operating without regard for others on the road or failed to maintain the vehicle properly.
- Boating accidents: Accidents due to boat malfunctions, collisions with other vessels, operator inattention or impairment, and under-insurance issues have been the cause of wrongful death claims made against watercraft operators.
- Injury or accident at a construction site: Whether they are construction workers or an owner of a corporation, proper safety precautions should be taken to ensure employees are protected from any injuries caused by heavy equipment, defective materials, etc.
- Medical malpractice: Medication errors, failed diagnostic tests, faulty equipment malfunctions, surgical mistakes, negligent treatment of patients by medical professionals or staff can lead to wrongful death claims.
- Slip and fall accidents: Negligent security measures put in place by an organization, poor maintenance of commercial property by the owner, and unsecured premises can lead to injuries that are not only painful but costly for medical treatment.
- Pedestrian accidents: Occur due to driver negligence, such as distraction, speeding, or otherwise failing to abide by traffic laws.
- Contact with hazardous materials: While this is more common on the job, it may occur at home due to corrosive or toxic materials in the water supply or environment.
- Workplace accidents: The most deadly occupations include manufacturing, excavation, and construction, but workplace deaths can occur just about anywhere.
- Nursing home abuse or neglect that results in life-ending injuries.
- Accidents occurred due to severe dog bites from animals running at large and out of owners' control.
- Medical malpractice claims.
- Product liability cases are handled due to manufacturer defects or poorly designed equipment that has failed to perform as specified.
- Explosions, fires, or electrical accidents: These types of accidents rarely end well, often with numerous fatalities.
Regardless of the type of accident that killed your loved one, you may be entitled to compensation if it is found that the accident was due to another party's irresponsible actions.
You have the right to seek damages for the cost of your loved one's memorial, the replacement of lost wages, loss of consortium, and the pain and suffering endured by your loved one and your family.
Five reasons to pursue a wrongful death claim
Our Peoria wrongful death lawyers recommend that surviving families or wrongful deaths file a personal injury lawsuit when a wrongful death occurs.
The following are the top five reasons to pursue a wrongful death claim:
- Compensatory damages may be awarded, including funeral and burial expenses, loss of future income, and pain and suffering endured by your loved one before death.
- Punitive damages may be awarded if it is determined that the defendants were guilty of willful or wanton misconduct, and the judge and jury issue a guilty verdict.
- The surviving families may be entitled to recovery for loss of consortium, which allows loved ones to recover damages due to their mental anguish from losing a spouse or parent.
- There is a two-year statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in Illinois, which allows you to pursue justice and financial compensation months and years after losing a loved one through a preventable death.
- With a wrongful death claim, the case is against all defendants at fault for your loved one's injuries and death; therefore, damages may be collected from each party found guilty of negligence.
What We Need To Prove In A Wrongful Death Claim
In any wrongful death case, we must show that the defendant or defendants were negligent and, as a result, caused your loved one's injuries and eventual death.
An experienced Peoria personal injury attorney will gather medical records, autopsy reports, police reports, eyewitness accounts of the accident itself, and the events leading up to the accident.
We will also consult with accident reconstruction experts who may know how fast vehicles were traveling before impact, whether or not any equipment was malfunctioning at the time of the accident, and other factors that would help prove fault.
If your loved one died due to nursing home abuse or neglect, you would need evidence that the nursing home's negligence directly led to their injuries and, ultimately, death.
For example, if your loved one visited the nursing home regularly and you noticed that their health deteriorated quickly over several days or weeks following their last visit, they likely suffered neglect at the hands of those who were supposed to be caring for them.
If this is the case, you may pursue a wrongful death claim against the nursing home for their role in your family member's pain and suffering and eventual death.
After gathering evidence such as photos of the scene, accident reports, medical records, eyewitness accounts, and expert testimony, we will be able to determine who is responsible for your family member's death.
Your Peoria wrongful death lawyer will then negotiate with the defendants (those or which are responsible for your loved one's death) to reach a settlement agreement. If no agreement is reached, we can file an official lawsuit against them to seek justice and financial compensation through the court system.
Some Important Illinois Laws We Need To Know About
The Wrongful Death Act of Illinois states that an action for damages must be filed by the personal representative of the deceased person's estate within two years after the date on which the death occurred.
If no representative has been appointed, then an action may be brought by any surviving spouses, children, or grandchildren of the deceased person. In this situation, the spouse or children have two years from when they became aware of their right to commence a wrongful death action.
In addition, an action for damages may also be filed by the parents of a minor who dies before reaching majority if no representative has been appointed and both parents or either is living.
The Survival Act of Illinois allows damages to be recovered for the conscious pain and suffering experienced by the injured person up until their death. The statute provides that an action must be commenced within two years after the injury occurs or when the person dies, whichever is later.
You might qualify to file a claim under these laws if your loved one died as a result of someone else's negligence. If you believe you are entitled to file for wrongful death, call us or complete the Free Case Review form on this page.
Our dedicated Peoria wrongful death attorneys team can help investigate your case and answer any questions you might have about the process. We work hard to ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled after the death of your loved one.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Most wrongful death cases are the result of negligence. When a person fails to act as a reasonable, prudent person would under the circumstances, another suffers injury or death. As a result, they may be held liable for damages.
There are three types of Peoria wrongful death claims:
- Intentional torts: Intentionally inflicted harm that results in the victim's death. The intent to harm is not necessary. However, if the death was a foreseeable result of injury, it can still be classified as wrongful death.
- Negligence: The failure to act with ordinary care under the circumstances results in another's death or injury. For example, if someone fails to secure hazardous materials that are commonly known to spill easily and result in another's injury or death.
- Strict liability: Some types of accidents are inherently dangerous, such as defective products that fail to perform as specified and when used for their intended purpose and result in catastrophic injuries or death. When a product defect is involved, it doesn't matter how carefully it was used, the product is defective, and the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer are liable.
Peoria wrongful death lawyers can provide immediate legal advice to help you understand your rights and help you to protect your loved one's interests. Call a wrongful death attorney at (888) 424-5757 or visit our website for a free initial consultation.
Peoria wrongful death lawyers have been representing the families of people who have been killed from all types of accidents throughout Illinois for more than four decades.
How You Should Decide Which Family Member Should File a Peoria Wrongful Death Claim
When the death of a loved one impacts multiple family members, there may be dismay about who should file the lawsuit against the wrongful party.
Normally, this would be the spouse, but some victims are unmarried and have left behind numerous children, siblings, or parents.
Rather than allowing this decision to cause division among every family member, we recommend working together with a Peoria wrongful death attorney to determine who should bring the legal action and how the damages should be divided after a settlement or judgment.
There are occasions where families are unable to agree on these details. We can then protect your interests before the judge, who will ultimately determine how the damages are dispensed. Your Peoria wrongful death attorney will seek to ensure you are awarded the maximum amount of compensation the law will allow.
Review Your Case for Free With a Qualified Peoria Wrongful Death Lawyer
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has recovered compensation on behalf of thousands of families who were forced to endure the loss of their loved ones due to the careless deeds of others. If your loved one has died in an accident, we are certain that we can help you as well. We guarantee our work, so our services won't cost you a dime if we cannot do so.
Call our law firm at (888) 424-5757, or use the contact form to arrange your free consultation with one of our award-winning Peoria wrongful death attorneys.
We can protect your legal rights and let you know more about your legal options and what you can expect from the process. We look forward to serving your needs.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship!
Our Peoria wrongful death attorneys accept all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis.
This promise ensures that no upfront payments are needed until your case is resolved, with the at-fault party legally liable for your damages.